A good interview requires adequate preparation but most importantly good listening skills.
As we all know, you need to prepare questions that won’t give you a monosyllabic response, and you need to understand who you are talking to and what you are talking about.
However, both Katie Couric and Tavis Smiley took it a step farther when discussing how to encourage an in-depth interview.
Couric, a CBS news anchor, told producer Tony Maciulis what she does do conduct a good interview. She strongly advises that you go off in different directions and explore a question into greater depth. The prepared questions are just a template.
This is explained in the following YouTube video:
Smiley, a PBS talk show host, agrees that a list should be prepared ahead of time, but he prefers to carry on a conversation after the first question. Conversations allow you to ‘follow,’ rather than ‘lead’ by picking out questions from their previous answers, said Smiley.
Smiley’s tips are provided in the following YouTube video:
In addition, a Scholastic article stressed the idea of letting the interview take its natural course by always listening to the answers. By listening you could get the answers to your potential questions. This will save you the embarrassment of asking a question that was previously answered.
On the other hand, David Brewer wrote an article focusing on how to interview a politician, which showed that you need to keep questions simple. Stick to the who, what, where, when, why and how. Don’t be afraid to repeat a question until you get a firm answer, said Brewer.
Have you ever noticed how a news anchor or talk show host builds off of one question? If so, what verbal and nonverbal cues did you notice?